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June 7, 2020

Common Conveyor Belt Problems and their solutions

Whenever you’re dealing with moving parts, there is bound to be some sort of issue. Moving parts wear down and, eventually, need to be replaced. With regular maintenance and inspections, it is possible to avoid unforeseen equipment shutdowns. General cleaning and upkeep don’t need to be time-consuming, and it’s possible to spread out when different parts of your conveyor belt system are inspected. However, even with the best maintenance schedule, some conveyor belt problems may arise from time to time. It’s always best to be prepared for these issues, so you can make the necessary corrections while limiting conveyor downtime (and possibly the loss of production).

Conveyor Belt Problems and Their Solutions

To help, here are the most common conveyor belt problems and their solutions.

Seized Rollers

When using a traditional conveyor system, the belt will roll over a series of rollers. The rollers need to be able to spin freely in place to ensure the conveyor continues to move. If one of the rollers seizes, it can do anything from slowing down the conveyor belt system to shutting it down completely. One roller may not completely derail the conveyor belt, but it will put additional strain on the rollers next to the faulty one. This, in turn, can lead to conveyor belt problems with these neighboring rollers. Eventually, the system will fail, and you’ll be forced to address not only the seized rollers but possibly a damaged rubber belt as well. That is why it is important to target the original seized roller immediately before the problem spirals out of control.

This fix is rather straightforward. All you need to do is remove the damaged roller and replace it with a new one. It is always highly recommended to have several spare rollers on hand. This way, the conveyor belt will only be shut down for a small amount of time (long enough to gain access to the damaged roller, pop it out, and insert the new one).

When replacing the damaged roller, it is a good idea to inspect the neighboring rollers, as these may have begun wearing down because of the faulting roller next to it. If the neighboring rollers have any sign of wear, it is ideal to replace them simultaneously. You’ll need to replace them eventually, so you might as well do it all at once.

Blockages

Blockages can happen in a number of ways. The conveyor may move too fast and push too much product for sorters (or your employees) to handle. This, in turn, can cause overflow and runoff, which may spill over into the conveyor system and cause a blockage. Different shoots may become blocked from time to time as well. If you experience regular bottlenecking in a certain area of the conveyor belt, you’ll need to consider widening the area to avoid the problem or maintain a close eye on the area and have employees space out the material to avoid blockages.

In general, a blockage usually happens either when too much product is on the conveyor or because the conveyor is moving too fast. So while blockages can occasionally happen, if this turns into a common occurrence, you need to look over your entire production to see if the equipment is moving too fast or if something else needs to be adjusted to improve proper spacing of the products.

Belt Slipping and Tension Issues

Belt slipping is something just about any mechanic, regardless of industry, has dealt with. When a belt begins to slip off of tensioners or rollers, it is usually because the belt is either too loose or too tight (although usually, it’s too loose). If the belt is too loose, it will slip, and it may not move properly. Because the rollers cannot maintain a tight connection with the belt, the conveyor belt might start, stop, and just function poorly, as if it has a mind of its own. The belt will also drift from side to side, which can cause wear damage to the belt and the rollers. On the other hand, if the belt is too tight, it will increase the wear on the rollers, and the belt itself will become frayed. You likely won’t see as much slipping with the over-tightened belt, but if you’ve ever pulled a rubber band to its limits before, you know it’s only a matter of time before the band itself snaps. A snapping conveyor belt is not only expensive to replace, but it can be dangerous as well.

Thankfully, the best way to avoid either of these conveyor belt problems is to simply make sure your conveyor belt is tightened to the needed specifications.

Mistracking

As mentioned above, slipping can be the cause of a loose belt. However, there is another cause of slipping: mistracking. This happens if the belt is not positioned on the rollers correctly. Mistracking can also lead to improper belt wear and possible breakage. So make sure the belt is correctly set up and aligned. This will help you avoid possible mistracking issues.

Stay On Top Of All Your Conveyor Belt Needs

Your manufacturing process heavily depends on your conveyor belt. This means you need to do whatever is necessary to maintain the belt’s current configuration and upgrade the equipment if one presents itself to you. The staff here at Gough Econ can help with all of your conveyor and bulk material moving needs. From analyzing your production floor space and helping you design the best conveyor system for the room you have, all the way to assisting in the improvement of your current system and providing upkeep help, the team here at Gough Econ has you covered. So give us a call if you have a question, want to know more about the conveyor hardware, or if you have a problem and you need help correcting it. Whatever the situation may be, the customer service team at Gough Econ is standing by, ready to lend a helping hand.

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